Desireless action is typically cited as a criterion of the
liberated person in classical Indian texts. Contemporary authors
argue with near unanimity that since all action is motivated by
desire, desireless action is a contradiction. They conclude that
desireless action is action performed without certain desires;
other desires are permissible. In this book, the author surveys the
contemporary literature on desireless action and argues that the
arguments for the standard interpretation are unconvincing. He
translates, interprets, and evaluates passages from a number of
seminal classical Sanskrit texts, and argues that the doctrine of
desireless action should indeed be taken literally, as the advice
to act without any desire at all. The author argues that the
theories of motivation advanced in these texts are not only
consistent, but plausible. This book is the first in-depth analysis
of the doctrine of desireless action in Indian philosophy. It
serves as a reference to both contemporary and classical literature
on the topic, and will be of interest to scholars of Indian
philosophy, religion, the Bhagavadgita and Hinduism.
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